In a stunning move, Twitter CEO Elon Musk has banned the New York Times from the social media platform for failing to pay the monthly fee for Twitter Blue verification.
According to Musk, the Times had been using Twitter for free for years, and it was only fair that they pay for the benefits of Twitter Blue, which includes the coveted verification mark.
“Everyone knows that the verification mark is the ultimate status symbol on Twitter,” Musk tweeted. “And if you want to be verified, you have to pay the monthly fee like everyone else.”
The New York Times was quick to respond to the ban, calling it “outrageous” and a “clear violation of free speech.”
“We are deeply disappointed in Mr. Musk’s decision to ban us from Twitter,” the Times said in a statement. “We believe that access to social media should be free and open to all, regardless of their ability to pay for premium features.”
Many Twitter users were quick to criticize Musk’s decision, with some calling it a power move and others accusing him of trying to silence the media.
Despite the backlash, Musk stood by his decision, stating that he was simply enforcing Twitter’s policies and that all users, including media outlets, should pay for premium features if they want to access them.
“At the end of the day, Twitter is a business, and we need to make money to keep the platform running,” Musk tweeted. “If you want access to premium features, you have to pay for them. It’s that simple.”
As of now, the New York Times remains banned from Twitter, with no indication that Musk will reverse his decision anytime soon. This move has sparked a debate over social media freedom and the power of tech giants like Musk.